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The impartial observer theorem of social ethics

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  • P. Mongin.

Abstract

Following a long-standing philosophical tradition, impartiality is a distinctive and determining feature of moral judgements, especially in matters of distributive justice. This broad ethical tradition was revived in welfare economics by Vickrey, and aboce all, Harsanyi, under the form of the so-called Impartial Observer Theorem. The paper offers an analytical reconstruction of this argument and a philosophical critique of its premisses.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise in its series THEMA Working Papers with number 99-33.

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Date of creation: 1999
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Handle: RePEc:ema:worpap:99-33

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References

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  1. MONGIN, Philippe & d ASPREMONT, Claude, 1996. "Utility theory and ethics," CORE Discussion Papers 1996063, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. Harsanyi, John C., 1994. "Games with Incomplete Information," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 1994-1, Nobel Prize Committee.
  3. John C. Harsanyi, 1955. "Cardinal Welfare, Individualistic Ethics, and Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63, pages 309.
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Cited by:
  1. Yoram Amiel & Frank Cowell & Wulf Gaertner, 2009. "To be or not to be involved: a questionnaire-experimental view on Harsanyi’s utilitarian ethics," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 299-316, February.
  2. Thibault Gajdos & Feriel Kandil, 2005. "The ignorant observer," Cahiers de la Maison des Sciences Economiques v06041, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), revised Mar 2006.
  3. Simon Grant & Atsushi Kajii & Ben Polak & Zvi Safra, 2012. "A generalized representation theorem for Harsanyi’s (‘impartial’) observer," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 39(4), pages 833-846, October.
  4. Hammond, Peter J, 2013. "Extending the Original Position : Revisiting the Pattanaik Critique of Vickrey/Harsanyi Utilitarianism," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1008, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  5. Simon Grant & Atsushi Kajii & Ben Polak & Zvi Safra, 2006. "Generalized Utilitarianism and Harsanyi’s Partial Observer Theorem," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1578, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  6. Juan Moreno-Ternero & John E. Roemer, 2004. "Impartiality and Priority. Part 1: The Veil of Ignorance," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1477A, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised May 2005.
  7. Valérie Clément & Alain Marciano, 2011. "Welfarism, Libertarian Paternalism and Political Economy: Three Perspectives on Economic Expertise," Working Papers 11-23, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Nov 2011.
  8. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00115722 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00177374 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. repec:pdn:wpaper:13 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Tim Krieger & Stefan Traub, 2008. "Back to Bismarck? Shifting Preferences for Intragenerational Redistribution in OECD Pension Systems," Working Papers CIE 13, University of Paderborn, CIE Center for International Economics.

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